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Cuba’s Official Press Treads Carefully With Panama Papers / 14ymedio,
Yoani Sanchez
Posted on April 11, 2016

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, 5 April 2016 – The name of Cuba has not
appeared among the so-called Panama Papers, but the official press is
displaying caution over leaked documents that reveal fortunes hidden by
politicians, athletes and entertainment figures. The national media has
mentioned those touched by the scandal, such as Argentina’s president
Mauricio Macro, while hiding evidence that points to Vladimir Putin and
the Venezuelan government.

In Monday’s first newscast, the report on the exhaustive investigation
into the documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossak Fonseca lasted
less than a minute. The unveiling that exposed billionaires’ offshore
accounts involving 140 politicians in 50 countries presents the ossified
Party propaganda with the dilemma of joining the diffusers of these 15
million leaked documents, or keeping its distance before the involvement
of numerous allies.

The Panama Papers involve not only doubtful transactions by political
leaders such as the prime ministers of Georgia and Iceland, the King of
Saudi Arabia and the president of Ukraine, but also reveal the shady
dealings of close friends such as Russian president Vladimir Putin and
Syrian president Bachar Al Assad, figures close to the Havana
establishment and beneficiaries of favorable coverage in the local media.

The Plaza of the Revolution prefers to tread carefully before the
avalanche of names of heads of states and governments — newly
inaugurated or already retired –mentioned in the documents leaked by the
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The
monopoly maintained over the written and broadcast media allows Cuba’s
Department of Revolutionary Orientation (DOR) to present the version of
the scandal that is later repeated in chorus by its reports inside and
outside the island.

However, the plot has just begun and there may be other names. The ICIJ
has warned that the investigators will demonstrate which of those
involved have no legitimate way to maintain offshore accounts and thus
have committed a crime or violation of the law. For now, all those
mentioned are in the eye of the hurricane of the public diatribe, but it
is up to the organs of justice to determine their guilt.

The threads of the skein, now being untangled by 370 journalists and 107
media companies in 78 countries, start with the documentation from an
anonymous source delivered to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung,
and also involve the soccer player Lionel Messi, King Juan Carlos’s
brother Pilar de Borbon, and the movie director Pedro Almodovar. It is
expected that in the coming weeks the scandal set off by these leaks
will cause resignations, judicial proceedings and who knows if there
might be a suicide.

Cuba’s official daily Granma will juggle to hide the fact that Adrian
Jose Valasquez Figueroa, former head of security at the Miraflores
Palace in Caracas, opened a bank account in the Republic of Seychelles a
few days after Nicolas Maduro’s victory in the presidential elections.
The faithful former captain of the Bolivarian army now lives in the
greatest luxury in the Dominican Republic with his wife Claudia Diaz
Guillen, a former nurse to Hugo Chavez. A story that will not be
mentioned by the official press.

However, the Panama papers are more than a scandal of public figures who
hide their money and evade tax obligations. Above all it is a test of
truth and transparency in a world where there are ever more walls,
secret codes and masks. This massive leak of documents also restores
hope to journalism, a profession in crisis that has managed to stand out
through perseverance and teamwork.

Hiding the revelations, silencing the names of those involved, will only
end up sinking the official Cuban press, incapable of reflecting its own
reality and that of others.

Source: Cuba’s Official Press Treads Carefully With Panama Papers /
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez | Translating Cuba –
translatingcuba.com/cubas-official-press-treads-carefully-with-panama-papers-14ymedio-yoani-sanchez/

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